CATSKILL – When a Cairo woman was arrested for allegedly attempting to behead one of her pet dogs with a sword, the record of a Greene County animal abuse registry became even more urgent.
Pauline Waldron, 67, is also accused of stabbing the dog repeatedly and then letting the animal die for eight hours without seeking medical attention. She faces a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
The dog, an Australian Cattle Dog named Peaches, has undergone life-saving surgery and is recovering.
The Greene County Legislature will hold a public hearing Wednesday into a bill that would create a countywide animal abuse registry.
The law will be on the agenda immediately following the public hearing at 6:20 p.m., said Greene County Legislature Speaker Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore.
The proposed law would establish an online registry of those convicted of animal crimes maintained by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, according to the resolution. On June 14, the County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee unanimously proposed to hold the public hearing.
“Animal abusers have a high rate of recidivism and are often associated with violence against humans,” according to the resolution. “It is the intention of this law to restrict people who have committed serious animal welfare crimes from being prohibited from owning or living with an animal for a period of 15 years and from being listed. on the sheriff’s website in order to restrict their ability to obtain an animal.
The issue was first raised by Jamie Mitchell, founder of Hyer Ground Rescue in Catskill, who presented the proposal to the Legislature at its June 2 meeting.
“We received the request over a year ago from Hyer Ground Rescue,” Linger said. “[Mitchell] has been working with the Sheriff’s Department since last year amid COVID, so it just took a while to get it started. “
The resolution seeks to prevent people with a history of animal abuse from owning or living with an animal for 15 years and from listing those with a history of animal abuse on a registry on the sheriff’s website. People who “transfer ownership of an animal” have a duty to check the registry before allowing a person to accept an animal.
Local law would define “animal” as any living mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish. Definitions of animal abuse include nearly 45 state-codified cases, including animal fighting; torture or injure animals; not providing adequate subsistence; aggravated cruelty to animals; not providing adequate shelter for dogs left outside; electrocution of fur animals; confining pets in vehicles at extreme temperatures; poison animals; declawing cats; and other crimes against animals.
“We hope [the registry] prevent future cases of animal abuse and that it will also lead to action at the state level, where it would be easily searchable statewide, ”Linger said. “Right now, it’s not easily searchable. You have to go to every county that has one.
There are animal abuse records in 20 counties in New York State: Albany, Bronx, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Niagara, Onondaga, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland , Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.
Lawmakers hope surrounding counties will be linked to the Greene County registry to prevent people from traveling outside the county to obtain animals.
Most animal abuse records include the individual’s name, address, photo, and date of conviction.